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Emerald Rain - 2001 Perplexed In The Extreme

ARTIST: Emerald Rain
ALBUM: Perplexed In The Extreme
LABEL: Now And Then/Frontiers
YEAR: 2001


LINEUP: Murray Daigle - vocals, acoustic guitars, keyboards, finger cymbals * Mike Dmitrovic - guitars, backing vocals, keyboards * Sean Gregory - bass, backing vocals * Randy Cooke - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 You * 02 Open Up Your Eyes * 03 Badlands * 04 Wasted Time * 05 Numb * 06 You Do It Yourself * 07 Just Like Anyone * 08 Is This Love * 09 Until You're Blind * 10 Live It All Again

A little while back I did a review for Emerald Rain's live album 'Live2K' which I quite enjoyed. With the release of 'Perplexed In The Extreme' I encounter the band in a studio situation for the first time. While 'Live2K' was a myriad tracks from their first two albums, 'Perplexed' is their latest full studio album of new material. This effort also sees the addition of ex Lee Aaron and Drugplan drummer Randy Cooke to the fold as a special guest.

The Songs
Compared to their previous work this album makes a step up in attitude and heaviness. The melody is definitely still evident but on a number of occasions it is moulded around some European heavy rock style riffing from Mike Dmitrovic. The main aspect of Emerald Rain that I previously enjoyed is still strongly evident - Mike's stellar lead work. I believe the move into a harder direction has allowed Mike to really cut loose, which is great to hear. His solo's on 'You' and 'Numb' smoulder. While there is a gutsier edge to much of the newer material, the distinctive Emerald Rain sense of melody is present on the more familiar sounding 'Open Your Eyes', 'You Do It To Yourself' and 'Just Like Anyone'.

In Summary
I believe the move towards a tougher sound has worked quite well, although Murray's vocals are a little one-dimensional at times. Though the band have exhibited a couple of new guises on 'Perplexed In The Extreme' it is still a typical Emerald Rain album of very good quality.

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Emerald Rain - 2001 Perplexed In The Extreme

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